Alaska 2009

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Trip of a Lifetime - By: Matt Ryan

            Three years ago, my wife and I were on our way to Northern Oregon for a car tour. It was a long drive from California and our little four-cylinder Toyota was chugging over the Siskyous pulling our Model T behind us. Somehow along the drive, we began talking about Alaska and how great it would be to spend a month driving a Model T down the Alaskan Highway. The prospect of such a long trip was so exciting, but seemed so impossible for two newly weds who just bought their first house. We couldn’t wait for retirement to take this trip. By the time we arrived in Northern Oregon, we had our trip planned.

            With Jess just starting law school, we had four years to prepare for our trip of a lifetime. We will take the ferry up to Whittier, Alaska. Then we will drive back to Seattle in our Model T Speedster that I built in High School. We are taking a primitive car with no top or windshield exposing us to all the elements. It wouldn’t be right to stay in hotels, so we decided we would camp the entire way home. We really want to “rough it.” I designed and built an aluminum teardrop trailer to tow behind the Model T that only weighs 450 pounds. This will give us a dry place to stay as we expect to encounter plenty of rain.

            Three years have now passed and we are ready. We have purchased our ferry tickets and there is no turning back. We have saved up plenty of money to fund our trip and Jess has now graduated from Law School. As soon as she takes the BAR, we will head for Seattle to begin our journey. It will be just the two of us, my tool bag, our HCCA directory, and Henry’s fliver towing the aluminum tear drop trailer I built just for the occasion. Six days on the ferry, 3500 miles in the Model T, and 100,000 pictures later, our one-month trip of a lifetime will be over.


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